One ‘Heddlu Cymru’ by 2030 the way forward says police chief
The Chief Constable of one of Wales’ four police forces has called for them to be merged into one ‘Heddlu Cymru’ by 2030.
Dr Richard Lewis, who was the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police before being appointed to the Dyfed-Powys role, said that it would lead to a more efficient service across the country.
They are currently split into North Wales Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police and Gwent Police, with four different Police and Crime Commissioners in charge of those areas.
“Doing away with those borders means we can provide a more effective service,” Richard Lewis told the BBC.
“One chief constable rather than four. One deputy chief constable. Dare I say one commissioner instead of four.
“Police Scotland had a difficult start but I think they’re now seeing the benefits of having one national service in Scotland.
“We can learn the lessons, of course, from those early days in Scotland… creating national structures in the IT world et cetera.”
The Home Office responded that the existing police force structure in Wales meant that “everyone has a direct say on policing in their area through their locally elected and accountable police and crime commissioner”.
“Chief constables and police and crime commissioners collaborate with other forces on a wide range of functions to improve the service they provide to the public,” they said.
Richard Lewis’ comments come after the Senedd debated the idea of devolving policing and justice to Wales earlier this month.
The Welsh Conservatives described the idea as “operational and financial lunacy”.
North Wales Police had “a closer affiliation with north-west England than the rest of Wales” Tory Senedd Member Mark Isherwood said.
Richard Lewis declined to comment on the idea of devolving policing, saying that it was a political decision.
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